Etihad Airways appears close to making a final decision as to whether or not to buy an equity stake in Alitalia. Speaking during a March 3 conference call about the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s latest quarterly financial results, CEO James Hogan confirmed that Etihad has entered the final stage of due diligence in evaluating the struggling Italian flagcarrier.
Officials from Etihad Airlines and the United Arab Emirates, where the carrier is based, are still investigating last week’s arson incidents aboard a Boeing 777 that departed Melbourne, Australia, for Abu Dhabi in which a number of smoke alarms were activated in toilets. Although no one was injured, Flight EY416 did make a precautionary landing in Jakarta, Indonesia, after smoke was detected pouring from two toilets aboard the aircraft. No one was arrested in Jakarta and the flight departed after a complete search of the aircraft, all passengers and all carry-on luggage.
The third annual Abu Dhabi Air Expo, which opened today at Al Bateen Executive Airport, has become a prominent fixture of the Arabian Gulf general aviation sector, with about 13,000 visitors and 170 exhibiting companies at this year’s event. Air Expo is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Abu Dhabi Aviation and the UAE Ministry of Transport.
Middle Eastern charter and scheduled service operator Rotana Jet plans to more than double its fleet by 2016. Speaking today at the Air Expo show at Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport, where Rotana Jet is based, the company said that over the next two years it will add at least seven more aircraft to the five it currently operates.
This article contains additional information from the story first published on February 24.
The third annual Abu Dhabi Air Expo opens at Al Bateen Executive Airport on Tuesday. The three-day event (February 25-27), which has become a prominent fixture of the Arabian Gulf general aviation sector, will feature more than 100 aircraft. Around 13,000 visitors are expected by the 170 exhibiting companies.
Abu Dhabi state-owned carrier Etihad Airways announced a code-share agreement with JetBlue Airways on January 22 that would extend its reach into the U.S. market if the Department of Transportation (DOT) approves. A week earlier, Etihad said that it will double its flights between Abu Dhabi and New York City by introducing a second daily service.
Airline industry groups complained that the omnibus appropriations bill that observers expect the U.S. Congress will pass this week does not prevent the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency from opening a controversial customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Abu Dhabi’s first airport–back in the 1930s–was at Al Bateen, now the site of Al Bateen Executive Airport. With a long, single runway the airport came into military use when the new Abu Dhabi International Airport opened in 1982 and only in recent years has this role started to give way to business aviation, which can benefit greatly from the airport’s close proximity to the city center. In fact, with Abu Dhabi continuing full-steam ahead with a $500 billion diversification effort as part of its 2030 Plan, the future looks bright for Al Bateen.
The Obama administration and the U.S. Congress appear headed to a confrontation over the administration’s plan to open a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that many lawmakers and airline industry groups oppose. An opponent said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency plans to begin operating the facility on January 5.
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